A Sideways Look at Ultra Running

I like to sneak up on the big things.  Kind of look at them from the corners of my eyes first.

The site for the Old Pueblo 50 Mile Endurance Run is not very lengthy.  This is good.  I have been checking it out and reading it on and off for the last 4 months.  I’m pretty sure I’ve read all of it by now…

But yesterday I was particularly caught by the description of the elevation gain and loss…

7,500 feet of gain.  7,500 feet of loss.  Ah ha.  Ha.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha hah haha!!!!

It’s ok.  I’m all right.  (Wiping away tears.)  Where was I?  Oh, yes…

I’ve read that before.  At least once.  Probably 10 times or a dozen.  Yesterday it sort of riveted my attention.  I’m not a huge fan of hills and I don’t have many to train on around here.  (Yes, I do live in Colorado.  No, the entire state is not mountainous.)  So… nearly 1.5 miles of gain and loss over the course of 50 miles.  Hmmm…  Oh, boy.  (And I notice that on one page of the website it says 8,000 feet of gain/loss.  ??)

I have hiked across the Grand Canyon from rim to rim 3 times.  Two of those trips were done on separate occasions in one day.  It’s about 21 miles on the trail and you lose and then gain one vertical mile.  The one day trips took me about 14.5 hours each time (I was not running.  I was carrying a 25 lb. pack.)  So… I actually have an idea of that sort of elevation gain and loss.  And an idea of what it feels like to be on your feet for 14.5 hours.  This is very good to know.  (I’m in better shape now!!  Keep telling myself that…)

This will be different – many ups and downs, all day long.  It looks like you never get away from climbing or descending.  (Quads?  What quads?!)  And the last several miles are predominately down hill.  Yea!

The elevation for this race is fairly close to the elevation I live at so I’m not too worried about the air.

Tomorrow I will read another page on the website and see what else I overlooked.

About wfig

Longtime horsewoman and hiker, occasional world traveler and professional biologist.
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9 Responses to A Sideways Look at Ultra Running

  1. buckjsnort says:

    OK… thanks. (I think).

  2. Haha says:

    Ooops! I think we all overlooked that little detail. If you start laughing uncontrolably, I will toss cold water on you. Will that help?

  3. buckjsnort says:

    Well written article, also……..

  4. buckjsnort says:

    Two Trips across the Grand Canon in one day?? Well what are you worrying about? You can do this one twice in one day also! NO problem!!!

    And now, folks, for my next trick… Im going to run across the Antarctica with no shoes!!!!!!!! Hide and watch me! But DO NOT Tell me it can not be done! Never!!!

    • wfig says:

      I didn’t put that quite right. The first rim to rim trip across the GC was a multi day camping trip. The other two rim to rim hikes were each done on single but SEPARATE days. There is an Antarctic marathon… but getting there sounds like quite possibly a miserable trip.

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